Walpole, MA - This past weekend marked the first showcase for the NEWJHL in the New Year. With the member teams coming together at the Cyclones Arena in Hudson, NH, the Walpole Express competed in 2 games on January 9.
In the first game of the weekend, the Express faced off against the number one ranked Northern Cyclones. A back-and-forth game, the Express came out flying in the first period. Starting off the scoring with a beautiful back-door goal by Megan Doherty, the Express proved to dominate in the first minutes of the period.
However, a penalty late in the first half by the Express resulted in the Cyclones capitalizing on the power play and sneaking one by Express goalie, Helen Cooney. But, that goal was not left unanswered. Coming back strong on a power play, assistant captain Julie Nagel fired one home off a strong pass from Meagan MacNeil.
Coming out in the second half, there was a change in momentum as the Cyclones began to dominate. Allowing 3 goals to go unanswered in the second half, the Express fell to the Cyclones 4-2.
Heading into their second tilt of the showcase, the Express looked to change their record in a game against the New Jersey Rockets. Going on the power play early in the first period, the Rockets capitalized on their man advantage, slipping the puck past Jess Olivieri. Returning to even strength, the Express dominated the remainder of the game, peppering 19 shots on Rocket’s goalie Annika Asplundh. Unable to drive any pucks home, the Express fell to the Rockets in a 1-0 loss.
“Despite the loss, I am very proud of the way the girls played. Throughout the 50 minutes of play, the girls did not let up on the Rockets,” said Coach Danielle Doherty, “They battled the entire game, they were just not able to get the puck in the net.”
Sunday, the Express returned home for their first home game of the New Year. Faced with a rematch against the Northern Cyclones, the Express looked to break the Cyclones’ winning record. Coming out with a mission, the game proved to be evenly matched until a penalty kill got the best of the Express. Capitalizing on their man advantage, the Cyclones were able to get on the board.
Returning to even strength, the Express continued to pressure the Cyclones throughout the remainder of the first period and the first minutes of the second. But, a missed opportunity to tie the game resulted in the Cyclones scoring 2 back-to-back goals on Express goalie Jess Olivieri. Unable to find the back of the net, despite their 23 shots on net, the Express fell to the Cyclones 3-0.
While disappointed in the loss, Coach Danielle Doherty said, “Finding the back of the net has been something that we have struggled with all season. It is important that we continue to get the shots on net and capitalize on the opportunities presented to us.”The Express look to change their luck this Wednesday with a 6pm match up against the Boston Bandits, before heading to Lake Placid on Thursday for the Northwood Tournament.